164 Yan Xishan's Former Residence Blending Chinese Style with Western Style
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Yan Xishan, one of the most influential figures in the modern history of Shanxi ruled the province for 38 years, during which period, the military and political power was totally under his control. The construction of his residence in the Riverside Village was initiated in 1913 and completed just before the Anti-Japanese War broke out in 1937. Nearly a thousand houses (now existing 18 courtyards, 575 houses) were built, including more than 30 courtyards such as Dudu Fu, Deyi building, the Manor House, Second Venerable Master House, Chuanxi yard (Old- fashioned bungalow), the East Garden , the West Garden and etc, covering an area of 33,000 square meters. Dozens of courtyards differ from each other, which results in the entire buildings of diverse styles, without losing its overall beauty. Among the buildings, both the traditional and western architectural styles can be found, most blending Chinese style with Western style. The spectacular momentum and the diversity of architectural styles make the buildings not only the valuable materials in studying the rise and fall of Yan Xishan families but also a significant living example of Shanxi modern architecture. With the distinctive combination of folk color and the fusion of Chinese and Western architectural styles, Yan Xishan's former residence has become a link between Chinese modern architectural style and western modern architectural style, displaying its unique aesthetic values and cultural values.